The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Pretoria

Pretoria CBD


Photo © Steven Herbert


Pretoria is located in the province of Gauteng and is 53 km north of Johannesburg although the area between them is heavily developed. It is the administrative capital of South Africa.

The name Pretoria comes from Andries Pretorius who was one of the Voortrekker leaders. The city is often referred to as Tshwane which is the proposed new name for it.

Although the area that is now occupied by Pretoria was inhabited by indigenous tribes for a few hundred years, the city iteself was established in 1855. The Tshwane municipal area has a population of around 3 million people.

One of the main attractions in Pretoria is the National Zoological Gardens, also known as the Pretoria Zoo. The Voortrekker Monument is definitely something that you should include on your tour. Besides offering a fascinating insite into the history of the Voortrekkers it also offers visitors unrivalled views over Pretoria. There are many other activities that you can undertake in the park-like grounds. Other places of interest include the Union Buildings, Church Square, Transvaal Museum, Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, Paul Kruger House, Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, Rietvlei Nature Reserve and Groenkloof Nature Reserve.

Jacaranda trees

Above - Although not indigenous to South Africa Jacaranda trees are synonymous with Pretoria

Photo © Johan van Zyl

View over Pretoria

Above - View over part of the city

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Paul Kruger House

Above - Paul Kruger House

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

Above - Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Dutch Reformed Church

Above - Dutch Reformed Church (1927) - Pretoria East

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Things ewe never knewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Published: 2015 - Page: 181

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 18

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 90

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 228

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 16

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 27

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 228

Getaway - Vol 31 No 03 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 42

go! - Issue 088 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 42

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 114

Family Fun - Author: Lisa McNamara - Published: 2015 - Page: 134

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 270

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1989 - Page: 54

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 102


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